blog

Friendly

29 May 4:41 pm

La selección nacional de México jugará este jueves en el Soldier Field de Chicago (8 pm; TV: Univisión) ante un rival que ha de ser especial para el director técnico del Tri José Manuel de la Torre: Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Especial porque ese fue precisamente ese seleccionado que ‘El Chepo’ tuvo que enfrentar en su debut como mandamás de la selección mexicana el 9 de febrero, 2011 en el Georgia Dome de Atlanta.

A pesar de que el marcador terminó 2-0 a favor de México, algo para notar de ese partido fue la gran cantidad chances que el Chicharito, Dos Santos y sus compañeros se perdieron.

Ahora que van a Chicago, ¿Veremos mas contundencia del Tri o será mas bien una sorpresa?  

10 May 12:05 pm

Just saw the news that Wales manager Chris Coleman -- the guy who first brought USMNT striker Clint Dempsey to Fulham, and now thinks he's ready for a bigger club -- called up Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale for the Welsh side's friendly against Mexico later this month in New York. The two sides will square off on May 27 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

Bale might just be my favorite player outside of MLS. (I'll keep my favorites in MLS to myself, thank you very much.) His mix of speed, power, magic, and doggedness consistently fill me with awe. It all seems so artistic, which is probably why I also love this short animated film about him, that was done by a Spurs fan named Richard Swarbrick.   

20 March 2:13 pm

Columbus Crew no jugó un partido oficial este fin de semana, pero eso no detuvo al chileno Milovan Mirosevic, quien anotó un golazo de tiro libre en un partido de exhibición ante el equipo universitario Michigan State.

Si Milo puede hacer esto en la temporada regular, creo que el Crew no tendrá de que preocuparse…

02 March 3:33 pm

De vuelta en Orlando, Fla. para el juego pretemporada entre FC Dallas y Toronto FC, me topé con Zarek Valentin, el defensa del Montreal Impact que nos compartió su alegría por la victoria que obtuvo con el equipo preolímpico de Estados Unidos sobre México en un crucial amistoso esta semana… pero ojo, se le está olvidando el español por estar aprendiendo francés.

02 March 2:15 pm

By Greg Seltzer

GENOA, Italy — The aftermath of the US men's national team's first-ever win over Italy on Wednesday is proving almost as fun as the event, and most of the report cards reflect that.

It looked as though Azzurri ace Andrea Pirlo was getting around to giving the home side's "B+" side the lead, but the visitors made sure that never happened. The Yanks played confidently enough in their own right to allow red, white and blue-hot Clint Dempsey to fire up the victory celebration.

As a periodic reminder, "6" is the average mark. All ratings are relative to match time played, with a 90-minute "7" standing higher than one given for 15 minutes.

Tim Howard (7) - It was very unlike the Everton star to have a couple of early calamities dealing with both the bouncing ball and an Azzurri onrusher, but fortunately he got away with them. After those nervous opening moments, it was Howard business as usual.

Steve Cherundolo (7) - Back in his corner, 'Dolo kept things rather tidy. Offensively, the Hannover 96 skipper was hampered by having a defensive midfielder up his flank. Cherundolo managed to rush forward into great crossing position once, but over-hit it.

Clarence Goodson (6.5) - There were times when he needed help or good fortune (and got it) dealing with Pirlo's paintbrush. However, Goodson more often than not was clearing attacks (even when he looked in trouble).

Carlos Bocanegra (8.5) - The captain was in total command, so he deserves a salute. Nearly flawless on the night, Bocanegra even managed to make a couple of big plays when he'd initially been beaten.

Fabian Johnson (6.5) - I'll admit to grumbling and shaking my head when the line-up sheet was handed to me. But fair is fair, and Johnson was largely fair. He found plenty of time to press into attack, contributed to the winner and eventually settled in at the back as a disruptor. It's those repeated issues in his corner over the opening half hour and the fact that he'd rather wiggle into the area on the dribble than cross that keeps my mind made up he should be properly played on the wing. Not budging on that, would rather he not have to travel so far to get to the area.

Maurice Edu (7) - Mo has gotten smoother as a guided missile defensive midfielder almost every time out for months now, both with club and country. His ability to periodically dip into attack is less convincing, though.

Michael Bradley (8.5) - I'll guess that I've been in the stands to watch Mikey "clock in" about 30-35 times. He may have two or three better overall performances than he had on Wednesday. The fully apparent fun he was having bossing midfield in the second half, however, stands numero uno.

Daniel Williams (5.5) - It seems so unfair to grade him for playing out wide, but of course we'll go right ahead with it. Williams actually performed a couple of genuine offensive intent actions this time, but the best we can say is still that he's sure one fine track-back wing man.

Clint Dempsey (8) - Deuce was filled with intent if not terribly effective before the break. He was just softening them up. Gianluigi Buffon, who hardly stood a chance on Dempsey's shot from 18 yards out, might want to start checking underneath his bed for the American; he was a monster post halftime.

Brek Shea (5.5) - To be fair, he was probably up against the second-best Italy player on the night, Christian Maggio. Shea's still a work in progress, but this match will help his art form.

Jozy Altidore (7) - I keep telling everyone how his passing is so underrated. This striker feeds an easy pass to hit. Altidore also did the hold-up work, showing again that AZ was the right move.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann (8) - As noted here, there are are still questions about his field placement for players. That unpleasantness out of the way, this team now plays out of the back until holding a 1-0 lead in the waning moments. This team now goes out on the Luigi Ferraris pitch and "plays football" like it expects to grab the game against an Italy, no matter who may be missing.

Yeah. You saw it. And you also saw why Klinsmann makes the big bucks.

Subs:

Sacha Kljestan (6) - I'm not exactly sure what he's supposed to do on left wing, other than help at the back. And there ya go.

Jonathan Spector (8) - There aren't many 13-minute shifts that practically seal victory, some don't even get a grade. Spector may need an exorcism because he was possessed in the final minutes. He blocked, poked away or shoulder-bumped silly anything that came near him as the hosts scrambled for an equalizer that never came.

Terrence Boyd (-) - After the match, he still looked in a daze walking to the team bus. That about sums up his cameo, but I have a new research project to find the last international player in the world to get his debut cap before appearing for a club first team - which likely explains the cameo.

Edson Buddle (-) The guy with the shortest shift did manage to kill a bit of time.

02 March 10:36 am

It was a boldface lie. Ferrell has turned around and shot a film entirely in Spanish … So what better place than Mexico vs. Colombia to promote the flick alongside stunning actress  Genesis Rodriguez? With Ferrell’s attendance at a Mexican national team match, we put his Spanish and his loyalty to the US colors to the test.

02 March 1:37 am

Do you know what I love more than ice cream and Sacha Kljestan's moustache? Eric Wynalda talking US Soccer. 

Sure, you or I may not agree with a lot of what he has to say but you can't argue that he's always entertaining. Hear what the US World Cup veteran had to say about the Yanks' big win over Italy yesterday on today's episode of Kick's The Mixer. Come for the Wynalda, stay for the Conrad.

29 February 7:50 pm

While most of us where tuned in to the USMNT's (surprise?) win over Italy at a bar, online or on our couches, the MLS players that are here in Orlando for the Disney Pro Soccer Challenge took in the game from their hotel rooms.

While the scene played out at team hotels all over town, Kevin Ellis and Dom Dwyer's room might have been the only one with an MLS camera in it. Check out their predictions and first-half thoughts in the clip above. You'll also find out why Kevin Ellis is, also surprisingly, pro-Italia.

29 February 2:53 pm

Algunos de ustedes ya saben que por unos días dejé a un lado la pretemporada de la MLS en Orlando para “pegarme la rodadita” a Miami y ver el partido amistoso entre la selecciones de México y de Colombia.

Entre las muchas caras conocidas que vi en el entrenamiento de la selección de México estaba Fernando Fiore, el flamante presidente de la Republica Deportiva de Univisión, y de una vez me dije “imagino que debe tener una opinión muy particular del partido”. Aunque sé que la tiene, no me la dio, pero si tuvimos una pequeña – y ventosa – charla sobre este juego y Rafa Márquez… aquí les va:

23 February 10:45 pm

Expect to see more of this as we inch ever closer to the March 11th debut of MLS on NBC Sports. Arlo White, the former voice of the Sounders and the future voice of MLS on the peacock network, joined host Russ Thaler on NBC Sports Talk tonight to discuss some of the big storylines around the league heading into the 2012 season.

And you know what? He looked damn good doing it. Here's to more soccer talk on Sports Talk.